Dirt biker hits woman, dog

Power walker cut and bruised after incident on Rails to Trails

JAFFREY — Police received a report on Monday that a woman and her dog walking on the Rails to Trails pathway in Jaffrey were hit by a rider on a motorized dirt bike. Police Chief William Oswalt said in an interview Monday that “an arrest is imminent.”

The woman, Michelle Pratt, 43, of Jaffrey, said in an interview Wednesday that she never heard or saw the dirt biker coming before he hit her and her dog from behind on the trail at 10 a.m.

“It was a traumatic experience, more for the dog,” Pratt said.

She sustained cuts and bruises from the event, Pratt said, while her dog walked away with a tire print on his back and was very sore the next day.

“I power walk. I had headphones on. Before I knew it I was watching my dog [fly] through the air and then I went down,” Pratt said. “When I came to, I looked and the kid on the mini bike had wiped out. I stood up and realized my dog had taken off.”

Pratt called out for her dog but he kept running. She said the person who hit her got back on his bike and took off, so Pratt ran for two miles looking for her dog. She finally decided to go home and found her dog waiting on her back porch.

Pratt said she has tried bringing her dog back down the trail, but the dog refuses to walk there.

Oswalt said the case remains open. “We have identified a suspect,” he said.

No wheeled, motorized vehicles are allowed at any time on the Rails to Trails, Oswalt said. Walking and pedal bikes are permitted, as are snowmobiles when there is snow on the trail.

“I know that boy slammed his head on the ground, but on the other hand he should not have been down there,” Pratt said.

Oswalt said police called N.H. Fish and Game because Fish and Game officers handle a lot of matters involving off-highway recreational vehicles .The two agencies are working together on the investigation, Oswalt said.

By press time on Wednesday, police had not made an arrest.

Lindsey Arceci can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 232, or larceci@ledgertranscript.com.

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